Springboks snub leaves with Stormers’ blessing for ‘life-changing’ deal

Jared Wright
Stormers forward Hacjivah Daymani and head coach John Dobson in split image.

John Dobson has commented on Stormers forward Hacjivah Daymani's move to France.

Stormers director of rugby John Dobson commented on the departure of Hacjivah Dayimani after the Cape-based side announced that 15 players are leaving the club at the end of the 2023/24 season.

Dayimani has been a key cog in the Stormers’ team in recent seasons, helping the side win the inaugural URC title in 2022 and reach the final the following year.

The Stormers were knocked out of contention in the quarter-finals this season and following the conclusion of their campaign, their list of departees have been confirmed.

Included on the list is Dayimani who is set to join French Top 14 giants Racing 92, who are yet to officially announce all of their new signings ahead of the 2024/25 season. There he will link up with double World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi and ex-England skipper Owen Farrell.

Hacjivah Dayimani leaves with Dobson’s blessing

Reports suggest that the Stormers made the decision to release Dayimani from the final year of his contract to facilitate his move to Racing 92, potentially forgoing a substantial transfer fee in the process.

Still, Dayimani leaves the Stormers with his director of rugby’s blessing.

“Hacjivah is a pretty prominent player,” Dobson told Rugby365.

“He has done an amazing job, not just on the field but for the project and what the Stormers is about.

“We just said to him, if you get a life-changing opportunity because he has a lot of responsibility and people who depend on him, we would not stand in his way.

“So we have not done that, and he goes with our blessing, and hopefully, he comes back one day.

“He is definitely one of those players that we would welcome back one day.”

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Other departees

While the loose forward was the headline name on the Stormers’ leavers list, the side also bid farewell to some standout names including talented fly-half Kade Wolhuter, prop Kwenzo Blose, flankers Junior Pokomela and Nama Xaba.

Dobson admits there is a bit of a restructuring of the playing squad occurring at the Stormers but added that many players have received “great opportunities”.

“A guy like Kade Wolhuter was always one of our bright young stars here, but with Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Manie Libbok, we didn’t want to keep him, especially if it’s going to hamper his career,” Dobson added, with the playmaker joining the Lions.

He said that it was tough to see many of those players leave but that the club needed to strengthen the squad and also satisfy the new investors with a sustainable rugby program while looking after the players’ futures, particularly those who have been bubbling under and have not broken through.

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